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What’s really been going on…

Ever have a time in your life where so much is happening, it seems almost unreal? As I wrote my immigration form a few hours ago to re-enter India from Singapore, I declared my travels in the last 6 days – Singapore obviously, but also India for a day, before that the UK and Canada.

And why so much travel? The real reason combines the personal and the professional.

On the personal front…

Lots of different things however the real big news is… drum roll here… my partner and I finally took the plunge to sign a piece of paper in Winnipeg with a wee wedding at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. We knew from the moment we met over five years ago that we wanted to spend our lives together, however took our time to get to this stage of bringing our respective families together in celebration.

It still feels strange when folks teasingly call me “Mrs Smith” – a last name I am not adopting but respect completely. I apparently even accidentally hung up on a consulting associate who merrily greeted me that way! (in fairness, the call didn’t connect properly)

Within a week of being wedded in Winnipeg, I was on more planes and found myself in Singapore for some work related meetings. Which is only the tip of the iceberg so to speak as on the professional front as much has happened over the last few months:

  • I was delighted to be back in Jakarta working on a project from September 2016 to December then back briefly in March and April 2017. Naturally this meant a few stops in Singapore in my crisscrossing back and forth between India and Indonesia…
  • January and May were pre-occupied with India projects that enabled trips to Kolkata and Kochi – it had been years since I was in Kerela so that was a particular treat!
  • February brought me to Delhi to co-facilitate a remarkable conference
  • More is unfolding in the technology space with the India company association… plus some new developments brewing that seem particularly exciting!

Beyond the personal and professional, everyday life in India inspired a few amused cribs about:

  • Ready or not, July 1st introduces India’s Goods & Services Tax with some absurd moments and migration migraines from Service Tax to GST
  • After a couple of years of effort, I finally successfully withdrew my last Indian Provident Fund. If ever anyone has tried to do this – foreigner or Indian – you will understand this is NOT necessarily a simple process!
  • After even more effort, a weird system error was finally corrected so that the Indian government was finally convinced I actually had paid my taxes in 2009. Really… honestly… I did… it only took 8 years for them to admit it!!
  • We also learned to survive the aftermath of November 2016’s demonetization in which cash was temporarily dethroned

So from newly wedded bliss, professional developments, to the everyday follies in India, life continues to be an amazing adventure!

There you have… a bit of insight into what’s really going on…

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Jakarta Journeys…

It is time to stock up on tolakangin, Toraja, Lampung and other coffees, perhaps even some Indomie for a friend… yes I’m on a plane back to Jakarta.

I spent most of December 2016 in Jakarta… long days, late nights but thoroughly worth the time investment. At that point, I thought my job was done and didn’t expect to return until a new project began.

However thanks to some creative re-allocation of who does what, I’m delighted to be back -even if it is just a quick trip!

I’m looking forward to returning to my favourite serviced apartment tonight, catching up with friends mid-week…

Then hopping on another plane to Singapore to check-in on company related matters, re-stock on interesting whiskies, hopefully catch-up with even more friends… mayhap a business meeting too if can swing it!

In short, I’m delighted to be back in the air, doing what I enjoy and hope this trip leads to even more such opportunities…

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Sunday at Como Park, Kemang… Jakarta adventures

Everyday Asia has been quiet for an understandable reason – I’ve been pre-occupied with a project in Indonesia for a couple of months. When not in Indonesia, I have  either been in Singapore or Mumbai or somewhere in between.

There has been lots of activities and not much “down time.”

Even weekends have been packed with things like Whisky Live in Singapore or cramming four social events into a single evening home in Mumbai.

Until the long weekend. In Jakarta.

Naturally I had delusions of being able to go on adventures outside of Jakarta… maybe Yogyakarta and Borobudur or other places…

Naturally I also did not book anything in advance… So by the time I tried to fix on a plan, most places that looked reasonable were full.

(more…)

Watch out Jakarta!!

I’m coming back!!! To say that I missed being in Jakarta is putting it rather mildly…

After a nearly two year hiatus, I finally have another project back in Indonesia. (insert image of mad happy dancing)

Can’t wait to be re-united with the guys and dig into the work!

No wasting time apartment hunting – chose a serviced apartment walking (hopefully not stumbling!) distance from the project office in Kuningan. Almost booked at my last Jakarta ‘stay-cation‘ spot, however bagged a slightly better deal nearby.

How fab is it to have a pool ALL to myself!!

Where I’m not staying this trip…

I also can’t wait to see a couple crazy friends… earlier trips resulted in an ad voice over (“Can you drop the Indian accent!“), overnight drive just for 1am dinner at a hill station, joined family time in Bandung and a slightly random road trip in Java.

I expect there will be an art amble, some Friday night fun with gal pals, malls can’t be avoided so will use these forays to stock up on a years supply of tolak angan!

And the food – OMG!! There will be feasting fit into all the focused work…

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The many faces of home

For those tuning in only now, I recently revamped how Everyday Asia is organised.

It is now ‘Home‘, ‘Away‘, ‘Work‘ and ‘Play… with a few other menu items like About, Quarterly Review and Start here..

You would think ‘Home‘ would be the easiest to do. Just slap on a new label to ‘Everyday India‘… except it raises a rather interesting question.. what and where is ‘home’… and why? (more…)

6th Quarter Summary

Gee… it seems like only yesterday I wrote the 5th Quarter Summary… However now that I’m ‘grounded’ in Mumbai, am back in the ‘posting grove’ with “Every Day Adventures in Asia (Mostly)” after a longish hiatus. And proud for being ON TIME (as opposed to Indian stretchable time) with this update. (more…)

The pool ‘princess’ and her adoring audience

I’ve always known how to swim. My sister and I were in a pool from practically the time we were babes. And it has always been a joy to jump in and start swimming… without a care in the world! A quiet peaceful time of contemplation, random musing or even brain ‘radio silence’.

Growing up with a father who was professor at the University of Manitoba meant access to their olympic size pool. I never knew anything else so just assumed all pools were big, cool, pristinely clean, bright and full of people enjoying their laps.

To discover people splash about in small hot pools chatting was bizarre. I mean come on, pools are meant to enjoy a blissful swim…  Beaches are where you combine swimming and play but a pool? Pools are to be in the solo zone, a happy place for focused fitness! (more…)

5th Quarter Summary

When I started this blog more than 5 quarters ago… I had a vague notion of posting about 4 times a month, dredge up observations from current and past trips and generally amuse myself by sharing tales primarily with family and friends, simply using the blog as the ‘means’.

What I found is there is a whole fabulous blogging community out there and yet at the same time – just because someone else prepares beautiful crafted, witty, thoughtful posts on a regular basis – it is not a competition! You decide what to accomplish and it is perfectly fine to be ‘undisciplined’ because this is a choice not a chore!

That being said, I like having these little quarterly round ups as an opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what the heck I’ve been up to for 3 months! (more…)

Ambling along art in Jakarta

Part of my recent Jakarta staycation was a little ambling about… Which lead to my reaching the Ciputra Artrepreneur.

Now… honestly, tell me what you think about the following… (more…)

Saying “So long Jakarta!” with a stay-cation

Have you ever had a ‘staycation’? A vacation when you don’t really get ‘away’ but do escape from the drudgery of the daily work grind?

My part of the Jakarta project is winding up and this is my last trip to Indonesia. I was lucky enough to fit in a bit of a vacation before heading home to India.

Original plan was to head to an island and laze on a beach… however when there was a chance to catch up with an old friend and colleague in town from Hong Kong… decided to stick around Jakarta.

That’s when the ‘staycation’ fancy took hold. The tricks for a fab staycation (in my humble opinion) are: (more…)

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